Monday, November 03, 2014

Gratitude

It seems like November is the time everyone starts talking about everything they're grateful for.  Thanksgiving on the horizon tends to bring that out in people.

To be totally honest, I've been feeling very UN-grateful lately.  I've been feeling a lot of things actually.  Anger, sorrow, confusion, frustration...the list can go on.  I was talking with Matt the other night about how unfair I had been feeling about our situation.  How going through this process again is just unfair, and how it makes me doubt myself as a mother in a way.  Now, I know that sounds completely crazy, I get that.  But when a situation is out of your control so utterly completely you make reaches of all sorts.  This is a reach I've been known to make.  That for some reason I'm not a good enough mother to get to have the family I desire.  I sit here on my couch and cry about how I'm a good mother, why can't I have these two other children here with us?

A friend told me after Kale died (and maybe it was before) that I need to just feel what I'm feeling.  Not to try to push feelings down because they may not seem like 'normal' grieving emotions.  Feel what I feel at the time, accept it, and move on to the next emotion that's coming.  So that's what I do.  I feel what I feel at the moment.

Those moments when I'm angry at God for having us go through this again, they come and go, like every other feeling I have.  And I realize that a lot of what I feel seems irrational.  And that's ok.

The other night, when I was feeling ungrateful for everything we've been given the past month, (job loss, car loss, terminal diagnosis for another baby, the death of Matt's grandpa) it all just seemed like more than I could bear, and I was telling him about how I thought it was all unfair.  I mean, I realize other's have it worse off than us.  I realize that there are many situations in life that could be so much worse, but right now, to us, to ME, the situations we have been given just seem unfair.

After talking and crying it out for a bit, he told me to go read this talk, given in LDS General Conference in April of this year.  Grateful In Any Circumstances by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

And so I read it the next day.  There are so many things that I needed to be reminded of.  There are so many ways we are blessed at this point in our life, even as we're suffering and grieving.  And it's not just tangible things, although I will touch on that too.

"Being grateful in times of distress does not mean that we are pleased with our circumstances. It does mean that through the eyes of faith we look beyond our present-day challenges.

This is not a gratitude of the lips but of the soul. It is a gratitude that heals the heart and expands the mind."

So I starting attempting to be more grateful, and guess what?  I FEEL more grateful every day.  My heart is turned outwards instead of inwards and it makes a difference in our lives.  When I was pregnant was Kale, I was very selfish about everything.  *I* needed to do and provide everything for him for his short life.  I didn't want to accept help, I didn't want others to help us pay for things (even though we needed it).  I felt like I was a terrible mother if I couldn't provide for him everything he needed.  In his case it was a cemetery plot, a burial, flowers, headstone, and a few other little things--blankets, clothing to be buried in, memorial items.  

I've let go of the selfishness with this baby and it's made a difference.  It's made a difference in how I feel, how I act, in every day matters.  My heart has been opened and I've been reminded (multiple times) about how good of a world we truly live in.  How good people are to others.

On that note, here is the point of this long post.  It's for me (and our family) to say thank you.  The past few weeks have been extremely difficult for us, emotionally, spiritually, and for me mostly, physically. (carrying a baby with no fluid is hard, you wouldn't realize it, but at this point in my pregnancy this is the third time I've had a baby with no fluid and with Martin I was on complete bedrest).

We have been beyond blessed with the outpouring of love and support from so many people.  My sister in law Natalie started a funding page to help us cover some of the financial costs we thought we would need for this baby, from what was spent on Kale.  It's only been going for about two weeks and this morning the goal was reached and surpassed.  So many many people, people we know, people we don't know, anonymous people, have donated money to help us.  Our story has been shared and shared again.  We have cried tears of gratitude as we watched that little green bar get filled.  We have been shocked that people care enough to give us this help we need right now.  We have been reminded of how good people are.  We have been so grateful.

So THANK YOU.  Everyone of you.  Everyone of you that has said a prayer on our behalf, that has sent a good thought in our direction, that has given us some financial help, that has given me a hug, sent me or matt a text or email or card or facebook message.  We are grateful.  We may not response quickly, as emotions make it difficult, and sometimes 'thank you for thinking of us' just doesn't seem like the adequate response.  

But here it is anyway: Thank you for thinking of us.  Thank you for remembering our little family.  We are so grateful for so many people.  I want to give everyone a hug.  

To quote President Uchtdorf again: "How grateful I am to my Heavenly Father that in His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings."